Tuesday, December 09, 2014

The Album quilt top is finished, and I'm so happy with it. 

 It looks just like the picture of the antique quilt, and I can't quite believe I did it.  I was so unsure about all the set-in seams, and whether I could make the blocks measure the exact size that they needed to be. 
I'm so thrilled with these blocks, they are just spot-on; I normally make patterns where I can fudge the less than perfect blocks, and I never worry too much about cut-off points and such.  This quilt really made me lift my game, and that's a good thing every now and then.
 The first lot of blocks weren't correct, so I worked on getting the right seam allowance, which made things better.  I discovered that I needed to use an Omnigrid ruler to cut the strips, it was the most accurate of all the different brands I own.  I find it requires more attention when I'm cutting, because of all the markings, but once I was used to it I seldom made a mistake.  And the perfect blocks were worth the effort.

And they had to be perfect with this setting; they had to be the right measurements, and they had to have the right angles, or they wouldn't fit with the set-in squares.  I unpicked a lot of seams to make this as good as it could be, so this is going down as one of my favourite quilt tops.  I want to quilt it with lots of feathers and make it really special.  Wonder when I'll find time for that?


Sunday, December 07, 2014

There are things that I haven't blogged about, and I wish I had, but there weren't any photos, and we're really busy right now... Insert excuse here...  So I'll just mention that at the end of November Mereth and I packed the car full of quilts and went to Pirie to give a talk to the quilting group there.  We had a wonderful night, showing the group our quilts, that showcased our progression from beginner handquilters to professional machine quilters.  We enjoyed chatting to like-minded quilters, and had a lovely surprise seeing our Auntie Edna, who is a member of this group.  It was lovely to catch up, and also see what this group has been making; they have some talented quilters there.

We also had fun one afternoon, picking up pea straw from our friend Helen's farm.  It was baled and sitting in the field, and we took two cars and trailers and went off to load up what we wanted for our gardens. 

My SIL Bev came too, and lets just say that a country paddock isn't her natural element.  However, she did a grand job of driving the car while DB Doug loaded the trailer.  Mereth drove my car, and Matt and I loaded.  It was lovely to be working outside, and driving over the immense paddock wherever we needed to go.  I always, always wanted to live on a farm, but I doubt that will happen now.  That's why it's great having Helen as a friend, I can go and play at her place!

You'll thank me for not having detailed photos of the next incident.  Yesterday we went to the beach, and the dogs had a lovely run.  However,  Dolly got so hot she went right out in the water where we couldn't get to her, lay down and then drank a bellyful of salt water.  She looked like a little barrel, her stomach was wider than her chest.
A blog friend once warned me of the dangers of that, and in 5 minutes Dolly gave a spectacular demonstration.  YUKK!  She must have been completely empty by the time she vomited half of it up, and the rest went out the other end.  I elected to walk her back to town, after she had a huge drink of fresh water at the car, figuring that would give her time to process the water and get it all out of her system.  Once I was reasonably sure that her insides had calmed down I gave her a scrub under the tap, yet another drink, and tied her to the table while we had our fish & chips.  By that time she was feeling good again, and begged mightily for chips, but there's no way she was getting any.  Matt joked that he was scarred by the whole incident, and I have to agree, I've never seen anything like it!  I had some chicken broth at home, and that's the only thing she had for tea, even though she was really hungry.
The sad thing is, she probably doesn't connect the digestive mayhem with drinking sea water, so she's likely to do it again.  She's earning the right to never get off the leash again!  This is one of the drawbacks of having a dog with personality; she livens up any outing, and not always in a good way, but I love her anyway.
"Can I have some breakfast Mum?  I'm reeeeally hungry!"


Saturday, December 06, 2014

This morning I tipped over the edge into Obsessive Completion Disorder.  I've been so good about working on my Album quilt in small amounts of time, moving it slowly towards the finish line; it's all about the process, and it's so much more important to enjoy sewing than to have a finished top.  Last night I sewed till midnight, happily adding blocks to each other and thrilled with the progress I've made.  I have 2/3 of the blocks joined into two sections, and I have to finish another 9 blocks to make a third section. 

I put those incomplete blocks up there to make sure my fabric choices would work;
 now I have to add all the corners, and that will be all the blocks completed.  Well done, I thought.

When I got up this morning I was Over It.  I just want it finished and off the design wall.  It had to happen, I get this way with most of my projects, and my patience is running out with this one.  That doesn't mean I'll abandon it, instead I'll sew like a mad thing until it's Done, Done and Done.

I love the intensity of working with so many set-in seams, and it's crucial that they are correct or the top won't lie flat.  Every time I press another one and it lies flat I feel wonderful.  But I've been working on it for a long time, the end of the year is upon us and I want to make more progress on other UFOs.  Time to swap persnickety, difficult patchwork for something mindless and quick.
The Jarred Takes A Wife blocks continue to be fun, and I'm slowly building them in between the album blocks.  I need to cut a lot more pieces, and find some lighter purples, several of these are a bit heavy.  I've shopped my stash and Mereth's, and I fear I need to go to a quilt shop and see what I can dig up.  I sold most of my purple fabrics in a garage sale, perhaps I shouldn't have?

We're off to the beach in a little while, after a customer drops a top off.  I need some fresh air and exercise to counter all that sitting and sewing!

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